Cars UK has been sent a really interesting proposal that is doing the rounds of potential car investors around the world, offering the De Tomaso setup to interested investors.
It’s true to say that the De Tomaso brand, probably the most significant of the unused Italian Supercar Marques, has been hawked round the world for years. But this document puts up some real detail, and pictures of the sad decline of a once successful (particularly in the U.S.) supercar maker.
De Tomaso was, for a time, a great blend of Italian style and American muscle, but it lost its way badly many years ago and, despite a few attempts to resurrect it, De Tomaso has been off the scene for a long time now. But there are still a huge number of De Tomaso fans, particularly in the U.S, and this could be a great route for someone like BMW to take in their quest for a true Supercar Marque.
The document is offering rights to all the De Tomaso brands, including De Tomaso, Pantera, Guara, Mangusta, UAZ and Simbir. Also in the deal is the now run-down, 55,000 sq ft factory in Modena (pictures at the bottom of this article), racks of spares plus a prototype of a new De Tomaso – The Guara II.
De Tomaso enjoyed its greatest success with the Pantera, a great blend of style and pretty robust U.S. mechanicals. I drove one of these regularly in the ’80s (yes, I’m that old!), and it was a real ‘Poster’ car – in the same vein as the Countach. By modern standards it was pretty uncivilised, but it did have a hugely appealing mix.
The whole De Tomaso shebang is being offered for under €10M, which doesn’t seem a whole lot of money, particulary for a big car maker looking for a ‘halo’ marque. It could even make sense for some of the garden-shed supercar makers.
The Modena Government currently owns all the rights and property of De Tomaso, and if a deal can’t be put together soon it will go under the hammer. This has been threatened since last summer, but this looks like a last ditch effort to put a private deal together first.
Will it die, or will it rise from the ashes?